The crypto winter did not drive darknet users away from using bitcoin for payments, Reuters reports. According to a study put together by Chainalysis, the use of the cryptocurrency doubled throughout 2018 and has reached an average of $2 million daily.
“For someone who wants to buy something on a dark marketplace, the fact that bitcoin price is fluctuating doesn’t really matter,” said Kim Grauer, senior economist at Chainalysis.
Despite the rising transaction volume conducted in the cryptocurrency, the overall amount of bitcoin flowing into darknet fell by roughly $100 million in 2018 in comparison to the previous year. According to the study, the change could be explained by two of the major dark marketplaces, Hansa and AlphaBay, getting shut down by law enforcement mid-2017.
Grauer predicts the decrease in transaction volumes will likely not continue into 2019.
“The reason for that drop is more law enforcement activity,” she said. “It would be misleading to think that this year it [the volume] will go down.”